Loft Apartments Explained

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Loft Apartments Explained

Staff Writer · Nov 11, 2009

When referring to different kinds of rentals, it’s sometimes helpful to talk about the way the term ‘loft apartments‘ has been popularly used to define certain types of housing units. This term has become an increasing part of talking about downtown property configurations for housing, and knowing more about it will help readers understand common practices in growing a local community in an urban setting.

Loft Style Apartment

A literal meaning of a loft style apartment is a unit that is built into an attic or other irregular space of a building, so that it is a different use of space than your regular “box-type” apartment. However, real estate agents and other professionals also use loft apartments to refer to housing units that may be in an upper story of a building with a commercial space below on the ground floor.

Commercial Loft Apartments

When today’s professionals talk about loft apartments, they are often referring to downtown apartments that have been converted into housing units, where the building was formerly industrial or commercial space. All kinds of abandoned warehouses and industrial spaces are commonly renovated into housing and commonly called loft apartment spaces. These large buildings will often be converted into many smaller apartments, such as studio apartments or efficiencies.

Lofts for Artists

The term ‘loft apartment’ also started to get used for a type of housing designed to appeal to “Bohemians” or consumers with an artistic nature. Some real estate companies indulge in a bit of stereotyping about the kind of audience that generally runs these kinds of housing units, though it may also be fair to call it a measure of their intended target clientele.

As loft apartments became popular, many real estate experts began to think of them as a strategy for often well-to-do city dwellers to get proximity to city locations without compromising on the quality of amenities in their housing. As a result, many now think of loft apartments as part of a gentrification strategy for a neighborhood, rather than a way to accommodate low income households in the city. In other words, loft apartments may be a kind of luxury housing, where the price tag is not cheap, and the interior not as rustic as some might expect. Brochures for a loft apartment setup in a neighborhood will often display some attractive aspects of this kind of community.

Getting to Know a Loft Apartment

One of the first steps in looking at a loft apartment rental offer is to get a handle on what the total rental cost will be per month. Potential renters will also want to look at the nature of the surrounding neighborhood, as well as access to public transit, often a big draw with this kind of housing. Experts also recommend that prospective renters complete a walk-through of the building before signing, rather than just relying on brochures and other promotional materials.

The above illustrates how many real estate investors use loft apartments to appeal to a specific customer base.

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